Department of Philosophy

OU Ethics Bowl team earns spot in national tournament

icon of a calendarJanuary 12, 2023

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OU Ethics Bowl team earns spot in national tournament
OU Ethics Bowl team
OU Ethics Bowl team members Bella Javier, Zach Samet, Erika Luft, John Rubarth, and Payton Bucki. For nationals, the team is allowed six members and will add Calla Barzinski (not pictured).

Following an impressive performance in regional competition, Oakland University’s Ethics Bowl team has earned a coveted spot in the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competition, which will take place March 2-5 in Portland, Ore.

This marks the eighth time the OU team has qualified for the national championship since it was established on campus in 2003.

To qualify for the national championship, teams must travel to their regional competition and compete for one of the top spots. Only 36 teams in the country qualify each year.

OU Ethics Bowl team

On Nov. 12, OU qualified at Marian University in Indianapolis at the Central State Regional tournament by beating Michigan State University by one point in the final round to advance. It is the third time in the last four years that OU was a top school in the nation and qualified for the national tournament.

“Nationals is almost twice the challenge of regionals,” said OU Ethics Bowl Coach Lisa Campbell. “Instead of nine case studies to prepare, we have 17. We also have four less weeks to do so.”

Students received the nationals case studies on Dec. 21 and have been working through the break and into the winter semester to research, strategize and prepare for competition.

Case studies include topics such as Covid policies for those involuntarily committed, the last minute prohibition of alcohol at the Budweiser sponsored Qatar World Cup, pharmaceutical advertising on television, racism challenges on Big Brother and judicial use of artificial intelligence for sentencing.

“Being able to compete nationally is just such a cool opportunity — I’m very proud knowing that our work got us to the top competition and am looking forward to test our skills again,” said Erika Luft, president of the OU Ethics Bowl team. “It’s also very exciting to be able to meet and chat with students from far across the country. Last year we made Nationals, but it ended up being moved online. This year is the first Nationals we’ll get to travel for, too. We’ll be heading across the country, to a city I’ve always wanted to visit but would have never gotten the chance to until the far future. I’m sure I’ll look back on this experience for years to come.”

The national tournament is being hosted in conjunction with the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics’ (APPE) annual conference.

“Being held in conjunction with APPE’s conference gives these students the ability to attend an advanced academic experience as well as compete at a higher level than they’ve been exposed to previously,” Campbell said. “Judges are conference attendees and local ethics, judicial, government and business professionals.”

To learn more about OU's Ethics Bowl team, contact Campbell at

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